Hey there! How is everybody? Hope everyone is doing all right. This fall is anything but peaceful if you look at my schedule. But I have some ways to keep the peace. Wanna talk about them? Great! Grab a cuppa cider or whatever your favorite is (Apple cinnamon hot tea, anyone?) and find a comfy spot to snuggle in and relax. Remember the old commercial, “Where’s the beef?” for the hamburger chain? Sometimes I wonder, do we have a ‘beef’ keeping us from having peace? Are we upset about something or someone all the time, so we have no peace? Let’s take a little deeper look!
I know the holiday season can make us all crazy. Add to that I just bought a house out of state, am preparing to move and to begin college, have the holidays and have a major travel schedule this fall. I get dizzy just looking at it all! Is it possible to have peace in all that frantic activity? Sure. It doesn’t have to be frantic. We can always have the peace of Jesus if we just look for it. One thing that comes to mind is getting packed and getting through security multiple times each way during international travel. Some folks are upset before they even start packing. Some folks are upset on the way to the airport. Most folks seem to be upset at the security routine. Security is a piece of cake. Don’t try to take anything questionable, keep your liquids in a quart baggie in an outside pocket of your carry on, and watch the folks in front of you – just do what they do. Easy peasy. I’ve been pulled out three times; once for a wood carving that ‘looked funny’ on an x-ray (Mary, of all people!) once in Tel Aviv (I smiled at the wrong person) and once in Rome on the way back from Italy. (We were the first with a new agent coming on duty.)
People ask me all the time how I can stay so positive. It’s really pretty simple. I know that Jesus has it all under control, so I don’t need to be upset. I can’t control any of these things, so why not put on a smile, bless the poor person who has to deal with grumpy travelers all day, and shine the love and peace of Christ to everyone around me!
Some people, though, seem to always have a problem, and so have no peace. Everything upsets them! They are always upset or finding fault, or a victim – say of that guy who just cut them off in traffic, or the lady in the express grocery line with three whiny kids, or the one with an overflowing cart and a hundred coupons, or worse yet ten price match ads! Are we upset over the behavior of others that doesn’t really even affect us? Things like ‘event’ parking that takes up the whole mall so the regulars can’t even park for their favorite restaurant? Are we upset over someone else not doing their job? Are we upset over a relationship that doesn’t treat us exactly the way we want to be treated? Are we upset because of something that might happen in the future, or may not happen?
We need to let go of all those things. Sometimes people hurt us, usually they don’t mean to hurt us. Sometimes we are inconvenienced, but that’s part of life. Sometimes things don’t go our way; that, too, is part of life. We live on planet earth; life here is not perfect. We are not in control. So, the less we try to be in control, the happier we will be. We can trust God to care of us, to defend us when we need defending, to provide for us when we need provision. It’s so much more peaceful to walk in forgiveness and mercy to all of those people around us, and to just let it go, than to get upset, mad, out of sorts and all those things that rob us of our peace.
So, let’s all practice letting go of the beefs that rob us of our peace. Our peace is in walking in love to everyone around us. Our peace is walking in love as Christ loved us. Let’s practice forgiving on the spot, every time something happens. That makes peace in our hearts, and frees God to work on the other person. Even if we have to forgive the same person for the same thing 500 times, we can do that through the grace of Jesus. We can always ask for more grace, and He will give it to us.
So, how about you? Do you need to talk to someone about these issues in your own life? Find a pastor or priest. They can help you connect with the grace of God so you can find true peace.